Vestas Wind Systems has announced that it is working with Tesla Inc. to research the best way of combining wind turbines and batteries.
This work forms part of Vesta’s wider global programme run by Vestas. The wind power company wants to add energy storage to its wind farms and is working with a number of other battery makers on about 10 projects in total.
Vestas announced its new focus on storage at its latest annual general meeting in April, and the work with Tesla was first reported by Denmark’s Borsen newspaper. Chairman Bert Nordberg has said Vestas is seeking a new competitive edge amid consolidation in the industry and after it surpassed General Electric Co. last year to take the biggest market share in the US.
Vestas began working toward combining wind power with energy storage since 2012 when it paired its 12 MW Lem Kaer wind farm in western Denmark with two lithium-ion batteries, one a 1.2 MW, 300 kWh system and the other a 400 kW, 100 kWh system. The Danish company ramped up those efforts in April when it announced it wanted to focus on energy storage.
Vestas is now working with about 10 different companies to find an integrated wind turbine-plus-storage solution that would make wind power attractive for a wider array of use-cases by making the energy more dispatchable.
“Across a number of projects, Vestas is working with different energy storage technologies with specialized companies, including Tesla, to explore and test how wind turbines and energy storage can work together in sustainable energy solutions that can lower the cost of energy,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg.
The partnership with Tesla is likely to boost sales of batteries and improve economies of scale for battery manufacturers. It’s certainly not the first time the electric car manufacturer is pairing its battery packs with wind. Earlier this year, wind developer Deepwater Wind announced it would fit a 144MW offshore wind farm with a 40MWh battery storage system from Tesla.
Tesla has recently begun to seek new applications for its batteries beyond its electric cars and Powerwall battery units. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk signed a deal with the South Australian government in July to build a massive energy storage facility to help balance the grid.